Keep the Lights On

LADWP executive to discuss what the future holds for public utilities challenged by increasing demands for alternative energy sources

David H. Wright

David H. Wright will discuss challenges facing California’s publicly owned utilities.

RIVERSIDE, California – Growing demands in California to generate more power from alternative energy sources is one of many challenges facing the state’s publicly owned utilities. What does this mean for these utilities that provide about one-quarter of the electricity generated in the state at rates that are more than 40 percent lower than investor-owned utilities?

David H. Wright, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, will discuss “Public Utilities: New Administration, Same Future?” on Wednesday, March 15, at the University of California, Riverside.

Wright’s lecture is part of the Randall Lewis Seminar Series presented by UCR’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development and will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), 1084 Columbia Ave., Riverside. It is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested as seating is limited and may be made online or by calling (951) 827-7830.

Nationally, more than 2,000 public utilities serve over 48 million Americans. What does the future hold for these utilities as policy makers around the country shift power-generation requirements to alternative energy sources in ever-increasing amounts? For example, Wright notes, a bill moving through the California Legislature would require that all energy be derived from alternative sources by 2045. He will discuss the present challenges facing public utilities and consider the issues arising from a new presidential administration, including possible shifts in energy policy regarding exploration, distribution, and power generation.

Wright joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in 2015 as senior assistant general manager of LADWP’s power system. Shortly thereafter, he became chief operating officer, overseeing water and power systems and operations of several divisions spanning logistics, human resources and community affairs and customer service.

He previously worked for the City of Riverside for 25 years, most recently as the public utilities general manager. Trained as a certified public accountant, he held a number of positions within the finance department, including city controller, before assuming management duties with Riverside Public Utilities. A recognized leader within the utility industry, he served as president of the Southern California Public Power Authority in 2008.

Wright holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from California State University, Fullerton.


Established in 2003, the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development (CSSD) explores the social, economic, political and environmental impacts that population growth and movement has on cities and local communities. Housed in the UCR School of Public Policy, the center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations in the community through its staff and affiliated faculty via research, joint conferences, workshops and public forums held at UCR and in the community.

The Randall Lewis Seminar Series is an ongoing program of the CSSD generously funded by Randall Lewis, executive vice president of Upland-based Lewis Operating Cos. The seminars focus on a wide range of regional sustainability topics such as air and water resources, infrastructure and transportation planning, affordable housing and the fiscal health of cities.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-7847
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

David Willmon

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